Midterm Essay Guide

Submitted By goodboy115
Words: 338
Pages: 2

Below are a few main points to help you plan out and structure your essays. Obviously, Aristotle gives a lot of arguments for these claims, and so it’s your job in the essays to explain how Aristotle connects his ideas. You don't need to include all of these arguments in your essays, but you’ll need to explain some of them when they apply. Topic 1 pertains to how we cultivate good virtue and topic 2 pertains to the life of pleasure versus the life of virtue, so this guide can help you plan your responses, but merely explaining all the claims below would not be a sufficient response to the essay topics. Think of this as a tool to help you structure what you want to say.

Humans are the rational animals. This is the telos for human life. We must live in accordance with proper reasoning. This is the goal of human life.
We strive toward the Good, that which is for itself, final and self-sufficient.
Honor, wealth, pleasure, etc. are not for themselves. They are for the sake of something else. They are also based on feeding appetites, which is pleasure, not true happiness. Pleasure does not equal happiness (eudaimonia).
Excess and deficiency are harmful.
Virtue is the mean between these two extremes.
We use scientific knowledge (universals, theoretical) to begin ethical inquiry, but this does not give us moral knowledge of particulars. From this we ask: what should we do in this particular situation?
We choose an action based on our desires and deliberation, AND THEN we